I lost the finest man I have ever known on July 15, 2015.  He battled bile duct cancer with courage and grace, but lost his battle, quietly, surrounded by myself and my two children, at home.  We took care of him in his final days and I am so glad we were able to give him that gift. 

Now, as I look around my house, I cannot believe that everything he loved, everything he took care of, including me, are just left here to struggle without him.  He was strong and kind and loved taking care of his family and his home.  

I am so lost.  I have wonderful children, who do everything they can to make me feel better and sometimes they succeed.  But you see, Tom and I were just so happy.  We loved to be together.  I never had a need for a girls weekend or even a girls night.  I wanted to be with him and he wanted to be with me.  His last words were "I want to see my wife."  

How am I going to live the rest of these long days without the love of my life?

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thank you so much Jane.  I sometimes do not feel I will make to another day.  Work helps. 

Dear Colleen, Your loss is very new. I am so sorry. My husband died 4 months ago and I have come to the conclusion that there are not really stages of grief. That implies that once you pass though or conquer one it's on to the next until you reach the end of the process. It's not like that for me. I, like you, feel lost. My day to day goes on but I have moments of complete normalcy followed by bouts of sobbing. All of this is normal. You have lost your love, your heart. Yes, it is good to have those who care for you around you. It helps. I wish I had a magic answer for you. Just know that there are many of us here that understand your pain.

I can have normalcy sometimes - even laughter - but nothing seems right.  Has the emptiness gotten a little lighter at least?  Has anyone joined a bereavement group (in person I mean)?  Has it helped?  

I have so foreign to this sadness that I just don't know what to do with it.  I have had a very easy, delightful life and Tom and I always looked for the joy in everything.  I am not sure I will ever be completely joyful again - but I guess if I accept that, I may feel somewhat normal - eventually?

Yes, I realize now, that my husband and I may have lived a charmed life quite full of happiness. We were married for 39 years.  Now nothing will ever be the same but in my heart, I know it can still be good. I have more days where I think of him and smile, sometimes followed by tears. I'm not sure how long it will be until I find a new normal.

I am in a bereavement group for those that have lost a spouse 50+. Yes, it is proving to be very helpful. You see that you are not alone in some of the feelings and thoughts you may be having. Some of us have met for coffee etc. outside the group and that has been really nice. I feel less isolated, even though I have family and friends. You really don't understand it until you're in it.

colleen kingeter said:

I can have normalcy sometimes - even laughter - but nothing seems right.  Has the emptiness gotten a little lighter at least?  Has anyone joined a bereavement group (in person I mean)?  Has it helped?  

I have so foreign to this sadness that I just don't know what to do with it.  I have had a very easy, delightful life and Tom and I always looked for the joy in everything.  I am not sure I will ever be completely joyful again - but I guess if I accept that, I may feel somewhat normal - eventually?

thank you so much - i will look for a group on my area.  Tom and I were married for 26 years - it seems such a short time now...... 


So sorry for your loss. You are going through and intense emotional time. If you are anything like me you want the world to pause for a day or two so you can catch your breath. Unfortunately life goes on whether we need it to or not. This group did more to help me deal with my grief than individual therapy or bereavement groups did. I feel for you but am happy you found your way here. This is a loving supportive group that TOTALLY understands what you are going through because we all are in various stages of the same thing. Give yourself the time you need to heal. There is no rush. Everyone heals at their own pace. It has been almost five years from me and I still often cry because I miss my Rose so. It will get easier with time but the whole in your life does not get filled. Hugs to you.

Thank you so much.  It is three weeks tomorrow, so I know I have a lot of sobbing to do - its just the feeling of helplessness.  I screamed last night "I need him" so many times and at the time, it feels like I just cannot get through another day..... but I will say - this group is helping.  thanx again 

and you name is Tom <3  I love you already!  I made a promise to my Tom.  I promised to take him everywhere with me - and I will.  We had a lot of travelling left to do, my Tom and I.  Taking care of a cancer patient is a challenge - but I would take back every minute just to hold his hand.  

Thomas Cleavenger said:

Dear Colleen, My name is Tom and I'm kind of the opposite of you. I lost my wife Loni to cancer 5 1/2 years ago. I look around the house and all I see is Loni's thing everywhere. Loni never through away anything She even keep all of her mother's and father's things. It's all up to me to go through everything and get rid of most all of it. I don't mind doing that tough as tough as it is. 51/2 years later and I'm still doing it. You see Loni was a college teacher and had love books all her life, and her mother was also. Loni's father was an Chicago attorney. There for I have thousands of books to go through. I've decided that the best thin for me to do is to take them all to a salvation army drop off place and donate them all. This part is not to difficult to do, it was going through Loni's personal things and clothing I had trouble getting started with, you just have to push your self to do that and be glad when it's over with, It has to be done and the sooner the better. That part I know Loni would want me to do. It's personal and Loni would want only me to be doing it. Loni and I never had any children, so again it's an easy decision for me, but hard doing. When I took Loni to the hospital for her last time, we both knew it was her last days. I had made Loni two promise's, That I would take good care of our cats we both love so much and I would take good care of me too. And the second promise was to finish the house remodeling we had started. The second promise seems a little silly, but it's what is keeping me going. I'm doing this for Loni, and what I wanted for her.

When I started looking for support I found this site and found 5 people on here that wanted the same things. We started our own support closed group and all got very close and personal with each other, me being the only male I could make them all laugh, more than they were ready to. It helps so much to laugh with people that are in te same boat as you are. The women started to get together once a year and visit each other all 5 of them together. and they all still keep in touch. They are from different states all around the United States, and it was our shared grief that had brought us all together. We are not alone in that way. I keep in touch with them all on face book most every day, they are like my sister's to me now. I love them all. They all have grown so strong in these last 5 years, a couple have even gotten married again. Life does go on, there is hope. I hope this has been helpful for you Colleen

Tom Cleavenger

Colleen, This type of grief will take your breath away.  You are still in raw grief where reality has yet to settle in.  There are no set rules, no procedures in which to follow, no charts to maintain but there is one rule which I try to emphasis and that is try not to make any life altering decisions within that first year.  It has been 4 years for me and it is so hard to make decisions on my own but I am getting better and each time a decision needs to be made I find it easier.  I cannot tell you enough to take your time and grieving such as ours is truly a baby step process and as soon as you think you are starting to grasp at reality there will be a trigger sending you backwards.  In time it will level off.  I miss my husband every day that goes by and there has yet to be a day I don't talk to him and tell him I love him.  The angels on this site have helped me immensely.  Working is good for you but don't let work consume you either.  You will make it as we all have it just takes time.  Hugs, Jane P.

I will make it.  That is the message you all are giving me and I cannot tell you how much it means.  i am so glad I found this site.  

Hi Colleen.  My name is Terry and I am so sorry for your loss.  I lost my husband a year and a half ago in an industrial accident.  It was very sudden and tragic and the shock of seeing someone leave for work and not come home was overwhelming for me.  I found this site after a few weeks and found comfort in the words of people like myself.  I tried a few support groups but I found that the members were all much older than I (my husband was 51) and it didn't seem the same.  After about 3 or 4 months of constantly breaking down and crying I found a therapist that was recommended and I'm still going, a year later.  I found it helpful to talk to someone who wasn't a friend or family member because you could say anything.  Even though it has been a year and a half for me it still feels so new, and I miss my husband every day and never stop thinking about him.  Like you, I didn't really socialize with friends, we appreciated the time we could spend together and were each other's social life, whether we were home or went out.  I have 2 kids also, and together we are taking one day at a time.  I'm not sure what my life is supposed to be like anymore since I was with my husband my entire adult life, but I try not to think too far ahead.  I have met several people over the past year who ironically have lost their husbands also, and I find it very helpful to talk to people who know from experience that deep down raw pain that someone who hasn't been through this can only pretend to understand.  It doesn't really get easier, but keeping yourself busy and doing things with your kids helps.  Allow yourself to grieve, don't stop talking about your husband, and just take one day at a time.  I think every day that these things always happen to "other people" and you hear about them on the news and such, but they're not supposed to happen to you, right?  It still doesn't make sense but I just keep doing what I need to do most days and get through them.  Special occasions are tough, and my kids and I do things together to remember their dad.  My kids are 17 and 23, so they do a lot on their own, but our bond has become even stronger and I'm fortunate to have them in my life.  They miss their dad so much, but we find comfort together in keeping his memory alive and talking about him freely.  I am so sorry and I feel your pain.  This is a wonderful site for those of us who are unfortunately here.  I wish you comfort and peace, and take one day at a time.  I believe our loved ones send us signs, and when I see a sign of my husband it brings me a smile.  I know he's with us, and although I want him here I find some comfort in knowing his spirit is.  Take care of yourself and your children and allow yourself all the time you need to grieve and do what feels right for you.  With love, Terry

I know exactly what you mean about "its supposed to happen to other people."  you are not supposed to lose your husband to cancer at 53 (after only 9 months of illness)!  I am finding comfort here with people who know how I feel.  

I have a terrible fear of special events, but like you say, I will get through them with my kids (25 and 21).  

I am so grateful to the people on this site that are taking the time to write to me. 


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